DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP
Soprano Solo (from within choir) and SSAA (some divisi) ALSO Soprano Solo (from within choir) and SATB
Duration c. 3’10’’
LISTEN/BUY RECORDING at https://naxosdirect.com/items/this-day-479027
This is a setting of Mary Elizabeth Frye’s only accredited poem of the same name. Written in 1932 in response to the heartbreak of Margaret Schwarzkopf, a German Jew staying with Mary in Baltimore, USA. Margaret’s mother was ill but she was unable to return to Germany to visit her due to the growing unrest at the time and following her death Margaret was devastated that she never had the chance to “stand by my mother’s grave and shed a tear”.
The piece sets the poem as written, using gentle cluster chords supporting elements of Jewish scales in the middle section as a homage to those forced from their homes and to all those separated from their loved ones throughout history.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.